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Ireland Women Finish Fifth In European Sevens Series

Ireland Women Finish Fifth In European Sevens Series

The Ireland Women will head to the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament next week as the fifth-ranked team in European following the completion of the second day’s action at the Marbella Sevens.

Ireland confirmed themselves as runners-up in Pool A with a come-from-behind 24-12 win over Germany in Marbella on Sunday.

In their opening match of the day, the girls in green’s usually reliable defence gave way as Dana Kleine-Grefe converted her own second minute try and Lisa Kroppe added an unconverted effort two minutes later.

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But a try from Amy Davis on the stroke of half-time got Ireland back up and running and they were a different side in the second half, running in tries through Claire Molloy and Alison Miller (2) to register their fourth victory in five pool games.

That saw Jon Skurr’s charges progress to the Cup semi-finals for the first time at this level, another hugely positive development as they build towards the World Cup Sevens in Moscow (June 29-30).

Unfortunately, Russia – the eventual European champions – proved too strong in their semi-final clash with a lone second half try from captain Molloy all Ireland could muster in a 27-5 defeat.

The Irish then battled it out with hosts Spain for third place in the tournament. The Spanish had won 14-10 when the sides met in Brive recently and Ireland were unable to gain revenge here as they lost out on a 14-7 scoreline.

Lynne Cantwell’s seven-pointer in the opening half gave Ireland a deserved lead at the break, but Marina Bravo touched down to get Spain back on level terms and Elisabet Martinez’s late score wrapped up a tight win for the host nation.

It may have been a disappointing finish to the competition for the girls in green, but the game-time against international opposition – 14 matches over the two weekends – and the lessons to be learned from those losses could prove invaluable come World Cup time at the end of the month.

Flying winger Alison Miller finished the Marbella event with five tries, while Molloy and Cantwell both scored three tries and Claire Keohane touched down twice and landed five conversions for a 20-point haul.

The ranking points at both Grand Prix Series legs in Brive and Marbella were added together to decide the European champions for 2013 as well as the other teams’ positions. Of the 12 competing sides, the Ukraine and Scotland have been relegated to Division A for next year.

Ireland’s Plate success and fifth place ranking in Brive coupled with their fourth place finish in Marbella gave them 12 points and 14 points respectively.

Their 26-point tally puts them fifth overall in Europe, behind Spain (30), France (32), last year’s winners England (32) and new champions Russia (38).

Meanwhile, registrations are still open for a screening camp for girls for the Under-18 Provincial Sevens squad to take part in the UK School Games later in the summer – click here for more details.

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (FIRA-AER European Sevens Grand Prix Series, Marbella, Spain):

Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster) *
Claire Molloy (Bristol/Exile) (capt) *
Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster) *
Larissa Muldoon (UWIC/Exile) *
Claire Keohane (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Lynne Cantwell (Richmond/Exile) *
Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht) *
Shannon Houston (Blackrock College/Leinster) *
Amy Davis (Blackock College/Ulster) *
Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) *
Laura O’Mahony (Tralee/Munster)
Sophie Spence (Mowden Sharks/Exile) *

* Players involved in RBS 6 Nations Championship

Ireland Results at Marbella Sevens –

Saturday – Pool A

Ireland 31 Scotland 5, CF Marbella Stadium

Ireland Scorers: Tries: Alison Miller, Jenny Murphy, Sophie Spence, Claire Molloy, Amy Davis; Cons: Claire Keohane 3

IRELAND: Jenny Murphy, Claire Molloy, Claire Keohane, Alison Miller, Amy Davis, Laura O’Mahony, Sophie Spence.

Subs: Niamh Briggs, Larissa Muldoon, Lynne Cantwell, Shannon Houston, Ashleigh Baxter.

Ireland 19 Portugal 0, CF Marbella Stadium

Ireland Scorers: Tries: Claire Keohane, Lynne Cantwell, Claire Molloy; Cons: Claire Keohane 2

IRELAND: Niamh Briggs, Claire Keohane, Lynne Cantwell, Alison Miller, Shannon Houston, Ashleigh Baxter, Sophie Spence.

Subs: Jenny Murphy, Claire Molloy, Larissa Muldoon, Amy Davis, Laura O’Mahony.

France 10 Ireland 7, CF Marbella Stadium

Ireland Scorers: Try: Niamh Briggs; Con: Niamh Briggs

IRELAND: Jenny Murphy, Claire Molloy, Niamh Briggs, Lynne Cantwell, Alison Miller, Amy Davis, Ashleigh Baxter.

Subs: Larissa Muldoon, Claire Keohane, Shannon Houston, Laura O’Mahony, Sophie Spence.

England 0 Ireland 17, CF Marbella Stadium

Ireland Scorers: Tries: Alison Miller, Lynne Cantwell, Sophie Spence; Con: Claire Keohane

IRELAND: Jenny Murphy, Claire Molloy, Claire Keohane, Lynne Cantwell, Alison Miller, Shannon Houston, Amy Davis.

Subs: Niamh Briggs, Larissa Muldoon, Ashleigh Baxter, Laura O’Mahony, Sophie Spence.

Sunday – Pool A

Ireland 24 Germany 12, CF Marbella Stadium

Ireland Scorers: Tries: Amy Davis, Claire Molloy, Alison Miller 2; Conversions: Jenny Murphy 2

IRELAND: Jenny Murphy, Claire Keohane, Lynne Cantwell, Shannon Houston, Amy Davis, Laura O’Mahony, Sophie Spence.

Subs: Claire Molloy, Niamh Briggs, Larissa Muldoon, Alison Miller, Ashleigh Baxter.

Cup Semi-Final –

Ireland 5 Russia 27, CF Marbella Stadium

Ireland Scorer: Try: Alison Miller

IRELAND: Jenny Murphy, Claire Molloy, Lynne Cantwell, Alison Miller, Amy Davis, Ashleigh Baxter, Sophie Spence.

Subs: Niamh Briggs, Larissa Muldoon, Claire Keohane, Shannon Houston, Laura O’Mahony.

3rd/4th Place Play-Off –

Spain 14 Ireland 7, CF Marbella Stadium

Ireland Scorers: Try: Lynne Cantwell; Con: Ashleigh Baxter

IRELAND: Jenny Murphy, Claire Molloy, Lynne Cantwell, Alison Miller, Shannon Houston, Amy Davis, Ashleigh Baxter.

Subs: Niamh Briggs, Larissa Muldoon, Claire Keohane, Laura O’Mahony, Sophie Spence.

Related Links –

Ireland Women Light Up Marbella Sevens

Plate Success For Ireland Women In Brive